Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Ronaldo in transvestite scandal
The AC Milan footballer has been recovering after surgery in Brazil
Brazilian football star Ronaldo has been caught up in a sex scandal with three cross-dressing prostitutes.
Having dropped off his girlfriend at her house in Rio de Janeiro on Monday night, the 2002 World Cup winner picked up three prostitutes.
When they all booked into a motel, the AC Milan striker discovered that the prostitutes were in fact men.
According to Rio police, he alleges that the transvestites then tried to extort money from him.
Local press reports quoted one of the prostitutes, Andreia Albertine - otherwise known as Andre Luiz Ribeiro Albertino - as saying that Ronaldo had threatened to hit him, on discovering that he was a transvestite.
Ronaldo "reported that Andreia had taken his car documents and demanded $30,000 [£15,000]", said Rio police superintendent Carlos Augusto Nogueira.
Albertino is accused of taking the footballer's documents
He added: "Ronaldo admits the facts. He said he just wanted to amuse himself, that's not a crime. To pay to have sexual relations isn't illegal.
"There's a strong chance that Ronaldo has been the victim of extortion."
When the footballer refused to pay the prostitute, the latter claimed that Ronaldo had taken drugs, and had threatened to hurt the three transvestites.
Under Brazilian law, while pimping sex workers and running establishments where sex is sold are illegal, prostitution itself is not.
In a statement Ronaldo is reported to have denied ever using drugs, and reiterated that he was a victim of extortion.
The three-time Fifa world footballer of the year is in Brazil recovering from knee surgery.
He told police he was having some psychological problems linked to his injury.
The Swiss chemist, Albert Hofmann, discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25 in 1938 while studying the medicinal uses of a fungus found on wheat and other grains at the Sandoz pharmaceuticals firm in Basel. He became the first human guinea pig of the drug when a tiny amount of the substance seeped on to his finger during a repeat of the laboratory experiment on April 16, 1943.
"I had to leave work for home because I was suddenly hit by a sudden feeling of unease and mild dizziness," he subsequently wrote in a memo to company bosses.
"Everything I saw was distorted as in a warped mirror," he said, describing his bicycle ride home. "I had the impression I was rooted to the spot. But my assistant told me we were actually going very fast."
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Malik E. Singer
Big & Tasty
The Panda Cat
El Negro Gigante
The Brother From Another Planet
AGHC (America's Greatest House Cat)
...and so many others.
As if the unrelenting narcissism and Sinead O'Connor shout-a-thon wasn't enough to make this vanity project unappealing, WHAT THE FUCK IS SALMAN RUSHDIE DOING IN THIS VIDEO?
Just cast in the lead female role of my All Hate Movie. Opposite Eric Bana, natch.
....was SO gangsta!
Man charged in death outside Dr. Dre book-signing party
Apr 29th, 2008 | SEATTLE -- A man described as a violent gang member has been charged with murder in a shooting that followed a party for the authors of a biography on rap artist and producer Dr. Dre.
Lovelychild James Manuel, 21, was charged Monday with second-degree murder and second-degree assault, authorities said. Arraignment was set for May 8 and prosecutors said they would ask that bail be set at $1 million.
One person was killed and a second wounded by shots fired in the parking of a restaurant in suburban Tukwila on April 13.
The shootings followed a party for Bruce Williams, Dr. Dre's close friend and aide, and Donnell Alexander, who has written for the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles CityBeat, who together wrote "Rollin' with Dre: The Unauthorized Account."
Investigators have said there was no indication the two authors were involved in the shootings.
Manuel had been arrested April 17 on unrelated charges, and the murder charge came after investigators matched his driver's license photograph to an image provided by a woman who took pictures during the party, prosecutors said.
If convicted, Manuel could face a sentence ranging from 23 to 32 years in prison.
Monday, April 28, 2008
There's a bit of construction going on, but aside from sounds of drilling and light pounding and a thin film of dust, I like my new office a great deal. Several people have stopped by to say hello and everyone has been very nice.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
"According to KNTV, a group of nine swimmers were heading northward in the water when the man was bitten on both thighs. Other swimmers looked back and saw the man flailing before he was pulled under the water, the spokesman said.
Witnesses said the victim resurfaced screaming. Several other swimmers pulled the man to shore."
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
A Naperville dentist called a flagrant foul on Chicago Bulls' mascot Benny the Bull on Monday, suing the team over a high-five gone awry.
Dr. Don Kalant Sr. alleged he was sitting near courtside on Feb. 12 when he raised his arm to get a high-five from Barry Anderson, who portrays the exuberant mascot in a bright red fuzzy costume.
But Kalant, an oral surgeon, may now wish he had settled for a fist-bump instead.
Instead of merely slapping Kalant's palm, Anderson grabbed his arm as he fell forward, hyperextending Kalant's arm and rupturing his biceps muscle, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
"Benny's flying down the aisle, giving everybody high-fives," Kalant's attorney, Shawn Kasserman, said Monday in a telephone interview. "When he gets to Dr. Kalant, he either inadvertently trips or, as part of the shtick, trips. . . . He grabbed Kalant's arm and fell forward."
Neither Chicago Bulls officials nor Anderson could be reached Monday evening for comment.
Kalant stayed for the rest of the game but later had surgery and could miss as much as four months of work, Kasserman said. Kalant is seeking unspecified damages for medical bills, physical pain and lost earnings. The lawsuit claims Anderson was negligent in either "falling forward while grabbing a fan's hand" or "running out of control" through the crowd.
The Bulls are legally responsible as Anderson's employer, the suit alleged.
Anderson made news in 2006 when, dressed as Benny, he was arrested for allegedly punching an off-duty Cook County sheriff's deputy who tried to stop him from riding a mini-motorcycle through Grant Park. The charges were later dropped.
Bill Clinton and the "race card"
It looks like Bill Clinton is still upset people thought he was trying to bring up race when he said Barack Obama -- like Jesse Jackson -- had won the South Carolina primary.
Clinton's comments on the day of the South Carolina election (way back in January) stirred up a controversy over whether Hillary Clinton's campaign was deliberately trying to make Obama "the black candidate" in the minds of white voters. This morning, Clinton told Philadelphia public radio station WHYY that Obama had "played the race card on me."
"And we now know, from memos from the campaign and everything, that they planned to do it all along," the former president said. It's not entirely clear what he meant by that; he was probably referring to an internal memo showing that the Obama campaign was collecting examples of racially weighted remarks made by Clinton surrogates. But the memo didn't indicate an advance plan to highlight those remarks -- it was written after they'd already been made (though before the Jesse Jackson dispute).
The WHYY reporter had raised the issue by asking a question about it, but Clinton didn't exactly stay on message in his response. He said the Obama campaign's implication in response that Clinton was trying to marginalize the two black candidates had been disrespectful to Jackson (whom he called a friend, though he endorsed Obama). "You gotta really go something to play the race card on me, my office is in Harlem," he said. "And Harlem voted for Hillary, by the way." Apparently unaware he was still on the phone with the radio station, Clinton muttered about the question afterward to an aide, "I don't think I should take any shit on that from anybody, do you?"
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
My question: who is the bigger asshole, George or Howie? I know, it's gotta be W, but Howie is doing his best, with the germophobia gloves, the look, the show, the people on the show, however he will choose to tongue the Preznit's orifices during the very special Deal or No Deal...
Just had to share and pout.
Friday, April 18, 2008
The new issue of Paste magazine includes an article written by Ben Gibbard (Backup frontman on my all-indie rock hate team) about The Meaning Of Life. Believe it or not, it's the accompanying photos that are the most annoying part. See above. I haven't seen that much fake haze sice Cybill Shepard on "Moonlighting".
Frontman: Colin Meloy of the cocksucking Decemberists
Guitar: Nate Farley - GBV
Bass: The midget who used to be in Spoon
Drums: Taylor Hawkins - Foo Fighters (Not technically indie but he transcends genre)
Harp: Joanna Newsom
Who'd I miss?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Sickened pork workers have new nerve disorder
Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:22pm
By Julie Steenhuysen
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Eighteen pork plant workers in Minnesota, at least five in Indiana and one in Nebraska have come down with a mysterious neurological condition they appear to have contracted while removing brains from slaughtered pigs, U.S. researchers and health officials said on Wednesday.
They said the illness is a new disorder that causes a range of symptoms, from inflammation of the spinal cord to mild weakness, fatigue, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs.
"As far as we are aware it is a brand new disorder," said Dr. Daniel Lachance of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who presented his findings at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in Chicago.
Lachance has been following the 18 Minnesota patients, all of whom have evidence of nerve involvement, typically affecting the legs.
He said tests showed patients had damage to the nerves at the root level near the spinal cord, and at the far reaches of their motor nerves, where the nerves connect with muscle.
The first cases of the condition were reported in November of last year at Quality Pork Processors Inc in Austin, Minnesota, where workers had been using compressed air to blow pork brains out of the skull cavity.
Lachance said this process appears to be triggering some sort of inflammatory response. So far, no infectious agent has been found that could explain the illness.
Lachance said it is possible that bits of pig brain stimulated an immune response in the bodies of the workers, causing their immune systems to improperly attack their own nerve tissue.
"It is a very strong association -- the fact that we are talking about harvesting (pig brains) and potentially exposing workers to nervous system tissue and then they are coming down with a neurological syndrome," he said in a telephone interview.
Dr. James Sejvar of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said it is unlikely the condition could be passed from person to person.
"It doesn't appear this is in any way a foodborne illness," Sejvar told a media briefing. He said the processing technique used appears to be very uncommon.
"We canvassed 25 of the largest pork processors in the United States," Sejvar said. "We have identified only these three plants that use this process."
All three plants have suspended the processing practice as a precaution.
While symptoms range in severity, most of the cases are mild. "Most of these patients have relatively mild weakness on their examinations or in fact no weakness, but have a predominance of sensory symptoms. They could be walking around and not have the appearance of being ill," Lachance said.
He said those who were mildly affected received drugs that address numbness and pain, and those who were more severely affected were treated with drugs that suppress or modulate the immune system.
"No one has completely recovered," Lachance said, adding, "Most have improved to a very modest degree, mainly in terms of their fatigue and sensory symptoms."
(Editing by Will Dunham and Xavier Briand)
I think the Frightened Rabbit record is real cool. Sort of Archers of Loaf-y sometimes, other times it's like Scottish Bright Eyes, in a good way. Yes, there's a good way. It's anthemic and wistful and smart and sad. Like all the best things are.
FYI, actual rabbits are bogus to the max.
Frightened Rabbit - "Fast Blood"
Frightened Rabbit - "Keep Yourself Warm"
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Dick Curless - "Loser's Cocktail"
UPDATE: Link now works.
BTW - They sent him to fight in Korea despite the fact that he wore an eyepatch. Is that bullshit or what?
Monday, April 14, 2008
By Rebecca Traister
Apr. 14, 2008 Dana Lossia, a 29-year-old labor lawyer in Brooklyn, describes herself as a "pretty big Obama supporter. " She worked for a year at Michelle Obama's Public Allies Chicago, where she met Barack a few times. She called him "the most inspiring, amazing person, a different kind of politician." Of Hillary Clinton, whom Lossia supported in her Senate runs, Lossia said, "I just think she's acted badly during this campaign."
And yet, as Lossia wrote in a recent e-mail, "I've been really bothered by what I perceive as sexism [among some male Obama supporters] and have spent hours defending [Clinton] ... A lot of guys just can't stand Hillary, and it's the intensity of their irritation with her that disturbs me more than their devotion to Obama."
This riveting Democratic primary campaign has provided us with its own stock characters: There are the young "Daily Show"-watching Obama-maniacs getting over their irony addiction by falling earnestly in love with the senator from Illinois. There are the pissed-off second-wave feminists, uptight and out of touch, howling as their dream of seeing a woman in the Oval Office fades. And then there are the young women caught between them.
According to the media script, these cool young customers have embodied their elders' worst nightmare of a generation that takes feminism's victories for granted by throwing over Hillary Clinton for her challenger faster than you can say "I've got a crush on Obama." These young women are way over feminism, we're told, and perceive gender bias to be an antiquated notion. They are embarrassed and annoyed by the public entreaties of warhorses like Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan. Pressure from their forebears only serves to alienate them from the second wave and drive them further into the disheveled embrace of the "Yes We Can!" dude down the block.
There is truth to this exaggerated electoral tableau. Young people are voting for Obama; Clinton is a troubling candidate for many women and men; and there is a sense that younger women feel more distant from second-wave feminist leaders than ever before.
Yet some female voters have begun to express nearly as much disenchantment with the Obama-mania of their peers as with their Clinton-promoting mothers. And even while they voice dismay over the retro tone of the pro-Clinton feminist whine, a growing number of young women are struggling to describe a gut conviction that there is something dark and funky, and probably not so female-friendly, running below the frantic fanaticism of their Obama-loving compatriots.
I began reporting this story in part because, as a 32-year-old woman who is more liberal than either candidate, and who was quite torn until Super Tuesday, I had found myself increasingly defensive of Clinton in the face of the Obama worship that rules the mostly white, liberal, well-educated circles in which I work and travel. I was confused by the saucer-eyed, unquestioning devotion shown by my formerly cynical cohorts, especially when it was accompanied, as it often was, by a sharp renunciation of Hillary Clinton, whose policies are so similar to her opponent's. I was horrified by the frequent proclamations that if Obama did not win the nomination, his supporters would abstain from voting in the general election, or even vote for John McCain. I was suspicious of the cultlike commitment to an undeniably brilliant and inspiring man –- but one whom even his wife calls "just a man."
I am a loud feminist and a longtime Clinton skeptic who was suddenly feeling that I needed to rationalize, apologize for, or even just stay quiet about my increasing unease with the way Clinton was being discussed. Meanwhile, I was getting e-mails from men I didn't know well who approached me as a go-to feminist to whom they could express their hatred of Hillary and their anger at her staying in the race -- an anger that seemed to build with every one of her victories. One of my closest girlfriends, an Obama voter, told me of a drink she'd had with a politically progressive man who made a series of legitimate complaints about Clinton's policies before adding that when he hears the senator's voice, he's overcome by an urge to punch her in the face.
A few weeks ago, my friend Becca O'Brien, a lawyer and policy advisor in New Orleans, visited me. She told me about her experience on the morning of the Louisiana primary. O'Brien had been openly torn between Obama and Clinton, and perhaps as a result, she received five phone calls from male friends around the country, urging her to vote for Obama. They were, she understood, just campaigning for their candidate; they didn't realize how many calls she was receiving, or that taken together, they were making her furious. As O'Brien saw it, "The presumption was that I was undecided because I was a young woman, and they could talk some sense into me if they were the last ones I spoke to before I went into the voting booth."
O'Brien told me she'd heard similar reports of irritation from female friends around the country. I asked her to send them my way, and I put out feelers on my own. Not since I wrote a story about the book "He's Just Not That Into You" have I received such a tremendous response.
The women who contacted me were almost exclusively well-educated and professional, a culturally and politically elite demographic, to be sure. But they all echoed each other in their complaints, complaints that complicate the dominant narrative about how young female voters are experiencing this presidential election.
I received e-mails and phone calls from women voicing various strains of frustration: They told me about the sexism they felt coming from their brothers and husbands and friends and boyfriends; some described the suspicion that their politically progressive partners were actually uncomfortable with powerful women. Others had to find ways to call me out of earshot of their Obama-loving boyfriends. Some women apologized for "sounding so feminist." Interviewees expressed vexation at not being able to put their finger on what it was about Obama-mania that creeped them out so badly, while maintaining a deep assuredness that something was not quite right. Perhaps most surprising was that the majority of the women I spoke to were not haters: They were Obama supporters, or at least Obama-appreciators.
Mia Bruch, 33, is a would-be Obama voter who was unable to cast a ballot on Super Tuesday due to a voting-roll snafu. A writer and editor who has a Ph.D. in American history, Bruch said that she's been politically progressive all her life but feels "a great distance" from her partisan peers, in part because of what she described as their "uncritical embrace of certain figures on the left," including Ralph Nader, Howard Dean, and now Obama. "You already see this idealistic longing projected on Obama," Bruch said. "People talk about him as a secular messiah who will bring us political salvation. There's no sense of what is plausible."
Or factual. Bruch points to healthcare as an area in which "Hillary's policy is the more politically progressive one, but this has somehow been ignored, and Obama was projected upon as the progressive redeemer. It's a political fantasy."
"If you're not taken with Obama, I suppose that the intensity of Obama supporters can be unnerving and hard to relate to," said Michelle Goldberg, the author of "Kingdom Coming" (and a former Salon staffer) and an ardent Obama supporter whom I contacted because she has written about the pressure that's been applied on young women by older feminists. "I certainly have become far more of a fanatic than I would have thought possible."
Goldberg continued, "To pass up a once-in-a-generation chance to elect a liberal intellectual who can do for the progressive movement what Reagan did for the conservative movement -– that is, to mainstream an ideology that was once considered marginal and vaguely disreputable -– would be criminal. But the intensity of that longing probably makes no sense to people who don't see the same possibility in this candidacy."
And for people who don't see the same possibility in Barack Obama, the intensity of that longing, especially when expressed by men, can sound downright suspect.
Maggie Merrill, a 31-year-old graduate student in urban studies at the University of New Orleans who works part time at New Orleans City Hall, is a Clinton supporter who told me that she will happily vote for Obama in the general election. But, she said, "There is this Obama-mania, where these young men get glassy eyes and start spitting out vague things about how Barack Obama is going to save humanity. Really, have you seen their eyes? It's this faraway look. It's scary."
I have seen that look and wondered if, in the minds of some of his adherents, the thing Barack Obama might be saving humanity from is Hillary Clinton.
There are many unpleasant realities about Clinton: She voted for the war; she has taken hawkish stances in defense of Israel; she voted to declare Iran's revolutionary guard "a terrorist organization"; she sponsored a flag-burning amendment; she has not run a great campaign, waiting until this week to fire Mark Penn; she is a Clinton. But while these are all qualities that might rightly inspire political dislike, or a withdrawal of support, they don't often incite the kind of hissing fury with which her primary run has been met. Were it her husband -– a man who has exhibited many of these same flaws (and more!) -– in the same place, he might or might not be trailing Obama, but it is hard to picture the kind of seething, violent animosity being flung at him.
When sexism is acknowledged in this primary campaign, it has been attributed to either Chris Matthews or the conservative, Rush Limbaugh, Iron My Shirt brigade. Little open recognition has been given to the possibility that there might be some gender discomfort behind the army of liberally minded Obama enthusiasts. But progressive politics has not always been female-friendly politics; '70s feminism was born partly in response to the inequities of the antiwar and civil rights movements. It's certainly possible that the youthful Obama movement has its own brand of female trouble.
O'Brien said, "With straight white male progressive friends, I feel something that makes me viscerally angry and afraid -- the viciousness of the rebuttals to the suggestion that [Obama's and Clinton's] policies are roughly equal or that Clinton's have some benefits to them, the outright dismissal of any support of her, the impossibility of having a nuanced conversation ... The whole 'Hillary Clinton is a monster' theme is so virulent."
Alex Seggerman, a 24-year-old art history Ph.D. student at Yale and an Obama voter, said, "I don't think anyone in my peer group, including my parents and my friends, would be comfortable saying, 'I'm not ready for a woman president.' They would be ostracized. Saying, 'She's had plastic surgery' or 'Her attitude is off-putting' are fine. But these are really expressions of some deeper issues with the fact that she's a woman."
"Hillary Clinton is not an attractive personality for a lot of people," said O'Brien, who noted that it's "very convenient that the same people who have a sense of discomfort with female authority they prefer not to examine" also object to her personality and record in specific terms, an antipathy they feel comfortable voicing. "What you get," said O'Brien, "is the energy of the first expressed in words of the second."
Perhaps it's because of the abundance of rational reasons to dislike Clinton -– perfect for disguising any unsightly misogynistic blemishes -– that many women described frustration at being unable to name specific instances of what they have felt as gender bias. Lossia, the Obama-supporting labor lawyer, explained that with her friends, "I've never heard them say anything where I could say, 'That's a sexist comment.' It's just that I can't understand why they hate her so much. I just have a feeling that they wouldn't be as bothered by her if she were a man. But that's very intuitive ... I think some of the guys just have some kind of visceral dislike for her." Lossia said she has asked why they despise Clinton. "People can always come up with reasons they don't like the candidate they're not supporting," she said. "But no one disliked Joe Biden or Chris Dodd as much as they dislike Hillary."
Jessica Valenti, the founder of Web site Feministing, has spent recent weeks touring colleges, including Georgetown, University of Mary Washington, University of Akron and University of Missouri. She said that before her travels, she'd been "expecting a lot more Obama craziness" on campuses. To her surprise, at almost every school she visited, young women told her, "My friends or boyfriend or father are progressive guys, but when they talk about Hillary, I feel like they're being sexist. But I can't put my finger on what it is."
Valenti continued, "Because their friends were not being specifically sexist, or saying something that was tangibly misogynistic, they were having a hard time talking about the sexism of it." Valenti confirmed that this "Feminine Mystique"-y problem that has no name was familiar to her. "I spoke to a guy friend who said, 'You're being ridiculous. I'm not not voting for her because she's a woman; I'm not voting for her because she's a bitch!' He could not see the connection between the two things at all." Valenti said he explained away his comment by declaring, "I mean 'a bitch' in the sense that she's not good on this or that issue."
Valenti has vacillated between Obama and Clinton and has not publicly revealed whom she's supporting. "But if I say something that's pro-Obama," she said, "someone will feel it's OK to say something to me that's anti-Hillary that I feel is coming from a place that's totally misogynist. The same thing happens if I say something that's pro-Hillary; someone will launch into an anti-Hillary diatribe that doesn't have anything to do with her as a politician. But because it's not explicit sexism, it makes it impossible to argue with people, because if you say something, then you're the wackadoo feminist."
Valenti continued, "I pinpoint sexism for a living. You'd think I'd be able to find an example. And I hate to rely on this hokey notion that there's some woman's way of knowing, and that I just fucking know. But I do. I just know." When it comes to feminism, she continued, so much proof is required to convince someone that sexism exists, "even when it's explicit and outrageous. So when it's subdued or subtle, you don't want to talk about it."
Not everyone feels that the chauvinism aimed at Clinton is subtle. Thirty-three-year-old actress Molly Ward said, "There is a frustration I feel professionally about how women who are ambitious are perceived as ruthless. We've made rules, we've set standards, we've put Virginia Woolf on the curriculum, and done things to make women feel it's OK to go after your dreams. But there is still this basic problem with women being criticized for ambition."
Kristen Phillips, 28, and a master's student at the University of New Orleans, said, "Sexism does not have to be 100 percent of what's going on. It might not even be 80 percent. But give me a break. It's there. Don't say that it's not there." She went on, "You would hope that people would at least realize that that's what they're saying, but they can't. It's like they don't have the vocabulary because they're so adamantly not acknowledging that that's going on. They're busy patting themselves on the back for supporting a black man: Aren't we cool?"
Perhaps it is thanks to the admitted cool factor that among educated liberal voters, the assumption is that you're for Obama, that he is the more "progressive" choice. Obama loyalty, like white masculinity itself, has become normative -– if you're not for him, you'd best be prepared to explain your deviation.
Ashley Johnson, 21, is a senior at Princeton who is undecided but leaning toward Obama. She told of a male acquaintance who questioned whether her hypothetical vote for Clinton would be "just because you are a woman and you want a woman in the White House." Said Johnson, "That doesn't give me enough credit and underestimates how much thought I've put into this."
It also prompts the question of when it became so wrong-headed to care whether a history of white male presidential privilege might be interrupted.
"If I did end up voting for Hillary, would part of me be very proud that I was voting for the first female candidate?" said Johnson. "Yes." As for her peers, Johnson continued, "I have not talked with any straight men on campus who are voting for Hillary. And a lot of the females I know are supporting Obama. I don't know if that's because they actually do support him, or if it's because they don't want to be attacked because they're female and they're leaning toward Hillary."
Eva Gruenberg, a 21-year-old senior history and political science major at the University of Pittsburgh, who is also leaning toward Obama, reported something similar on her campus, warming up for the April 22 Pennsylvania primary. She said that her fellow students are "more subtle" about their Clinton support. "I don't want to say 'quiet' about it," Gruenberg said. "I feel like the kids who are for Obama are much more into marketing and bragging about it. Hillary people are not so much into advertising it yet."
Perhaps the hesitation to throw a Hillary placard in your window is related to the fear that doing so will make you –- like Clinton herself –- a regular laughingstock.
Mia Bruch described a recent trip to Ricky's, a cosmetics shop in New York City. "The only political item was a huge stack of Hillary nutcrackers," she said. "Obviously, the play here is that she's a ball-buster. No one is making nutcracker icons of McCain or Obama." More important, no one would buy them. Ricky's cosmetic store is not selling Hillary nutcrackers for its health; it's selling them because there is a market. "People like making fun of Hillary Clinton," said Bruch simply.
"There have been nasty, dirty things said about Obama -– insinuations about his religion and coded references about his race," said Bruch. But she pointed out that to overtly mock Obama "is putting yourself at risk for being part of a long tradition of caricaturing black faces. It's a little easier to do that if you're caricaturing a woman."
Opening up the discussion of sexism inevitably leads to comparative observations about racism -- a tragic, reductive byproduct of two historical barriers having been broken in the same election year. Many young women expressed their annoyance that the competition conversation needs to take place at all. O'Brien explained that, at a certain point, she and her boyfriend, who is African-American, decided that the two experiences were simply not comparable in any useful way. Jessica Valenti lamented what she called "the Oppression Olympics," which she says make both sides look bad.
But the urge to make comparisons, and the speed with which they flame up when touched even gingerly -– consider Geraldine Ferraro's assertion that Obama was lucky to be a black man, Gloria Steinem's reference to blacks getting the vote before women, Jeremiah Wright's observation that Hillary "ain't never been called a 'nigger'" -– remind us that drives toward equality have often been pitted against each other and have also spelled the divisive end of social movements; a reluctance to make room for racial and sexual difference contributed to the unraveling of second-wave feminism.
But not before the feminist movement made tremendous strides. In today's United States, racism continues to have more damaging economic and social structural implications for African-Americans than sexism has for women. Especially white and well-educated women, who are catching up to their male counterparts, if not in terms of equal pay or domestic expectations or secure reproductive options, at least in their ability to pursue the education and vocation they desire. And that makes them a more threatening group to the population of white men who have enjoyed unchallenged power -- in the White House and other workplaces -- since the birth of the nation. Those who feel the army of tough ladies breathing down their necks, competing for jobs and salaries and refusing to drop out of the race, are the population of privileged white men from which the elite portion of the Democratic Party is built.
That does not mean that all privileged white male Democrats are sexist, anymore than it would be true to suggest that all working-class white Democrats (the segment of the party that is breaking for Clinton) are racist. But a lightly disguised uneasiness with female power, as well as the "we love women, just not that woman" rhetoric will be familiar to anyone who has paid attention to the reception of the feminist movement. It's the movement of which Clinton has become emblematic -– not because it was her bailiwick, but because she has been exactly the kind of woman that feminism made room for: ambitious, ball-busting, high-earning, untrained in the finer arts of hair care, and unwilling to play dumber (or nicer) than she is.
These women –- and the movement whence they sprang -– have never been the most popular girls in the Democratic Party, even if the party's male elders have grown up enough to know that they're not supposed to say so out loud anymore. At least not until they find themselves pinching Clinton's cheek like Chris Matthews, or accusing her of destroying the party by staying in a race in which she is still competitive. It's like how Democrats love women, just not those goddamned women with their single-issue reproductive rights obsession that sticks us with Lincoln Chafee and Joe Lieberman.
In this case, the frustration with the feminist old guard's reaction to Hillary Clinton is not unmerited. The exhortations from Robin Morgan have not exactly been lyrical, or tuned to ears of women younger than 50. Assertions from Obama-maniacs that a woman who votes for Hillary must be doing so only because she is a woman may be bad, but it's just as bad for older feminists to instruct women that they have some kind of ovarian, fallopian responsibility to do the same.
Rebecca Wiegand, a 24-year-old development assistant at a film company, and an Obama supporter from the beginning, said, "Those editorials by Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan I was appalled by, and I felt completely alienated from second-wave feminism."
But instead of spelling the end of the movement, as Michelle Goldberg suggested in a recent Guardian piece, this generational break may signal a healthier divide. Because while these young women may not be changing their votes, and may not be hewing to the words of Robin Morgan, they're also not -– as many of the elder handwringers fear -– tossing their feminism out with the bathwater. In fact, it's possible to envision a way in which, rather than simply sealing the demise of the second-wave, this election might give birth to a new generation of young feminists awakened by the harsh treatment of Hillary -– on their own terms and without the voices of Steinems and Morgans to overshadow or boss them.
"When the election started, I felt very postfeminist," said Wiegand. "I felt like, I'm a woman and I'd love to have a woman president, but I also have many other issues I care about and the Iraq war is a big one, and I'm not going to make my decision just because I'm a woman." But over the course of the campaign, Wiegand said, "there has been a lot of anger toward Hillary that's felt really intense and misogynistic. The gloating after Iowa was something to behold. And it's made me realize we are still dealing with the gender issue. I don't think we know what to make of women in power, or make of Hillary. I don't think the world is as postfeminist as I was feeling that it was."
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Excerpted from a letter to Camille Paglia on salon.com:
Let's forget about politics for a minute. What did you think of Madonna's new face at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions?
Sigh. You do put a gal on the spot. Madonna fans of the world (among whom I number myself, despite my sniping) should view her as a very grand architectural monument in slow stages of repair and restoration. As with the bitterly controversial cleaning of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, we will all have our opinions about whether the conservators have gone too far or not far enough. But Madonna's still out there kicking, so she needs as much lamination as she can get. We don't want her retiring like a creaky recluse to her flat, as her role model Marlene Dietrich had to do at the end in Paris. So go for it, Madge, but we won't be surprised if one of these days you smash into a thousand tinkling shards right onstage.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Dylan, Tracy Letts Win Pulitzer Nods
By HILLEL ITALIE Associated Press Writer
Apr 7th, 2008 | NEW YORK -- Thanks to Bob Dylan, rock 'n' roll has finally broken through the Pulitzer wall.
Dylan, the most acclaimed and influential songwriter of the past half century, who more than anyone brought rock from the streets to the lecture hall, received an honorary Pulitzer Prize on Monday, cited for his "profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."
It was the first time Pulitzer judges, who have long favored classical music, and, more recently, jazz, awarded an art form once dismissed as barbaric, even subversive.
"I am in disbelief," Dylan fan and fellow Pulitzer winner Junot Diaz said of Dylan's award.
Diaz's "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," a tragic but humorous story of desire, politics and violence among Dominicans at home and in the United States, won the fiction prize. Diaz, 39, worked for more than a decade on his first novel — "I spent most of the time on dead-ends and doubts," he told The Associated Press on Monday — and at one point included a section about Dylan.
But really, I can't help and like the guy ... coincidentally caught several hours (but by no means all) of The Ten Commandments a couple weeks ago, and the end of the Planet of the Apes friday night.
Which reminded me of this:
check out the people's names, too. so terry jones . . .
Police: Man Used Hedgehog As Weapon
Apr 6th, 2008 | WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- A New Zealand man has been accused of assault with prickly weapon — a hedgehog.
Police allege that William Singalargh picked up the hedgehog and threw it several yards to hit a 15-year-old boy in the North Island east coast town of Whakatane on Feb. 9.
"It hit the victim in the leg, causing a large, red welt and several puncture marks," police Senior Sgt. Bruce Jenkins said Monday. The teen did not need medical treatment, he added.
The Herald on Sunday newspaper reported that it was not known whether the hedgehog was dead or alive at the time of the attack, but that it was dead when collected as evidence.
Jenkins said Singalargh, 27, was arrested shortly after the incident on a charge of assault with a weapon. He is expected to appear in court again on April 17.
His lawyer, Rebecca Plunket, said Singalargh intends to plead innocent. The maximum penalty for the charge is five years in prison.
While using a hedgehog as a weapon in an assault is uncommon, Jenkins said, "People often get charged with assault for throwing things at other people."
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Lake Effectors, you are all invited to debut performances from teen band The Showstoppers and elementary band The Rich Kids at Fuller Park Gym Night on Thursday, April 17, at 7:00 PM. In addition to the R&B sounds of these two bands, you'll be treated to displays of karate, dance and boxing in this hour long showcase of southside talent.
Also, The Intonation Music Workshop was finally granted Non-profit status this week, so its legit, yo, from top to bottom!
To get to Fuller Park, take 90 and exit at 43rd, two blocks West to Princeton, left two blocks and you're there. 15 minutes from downtown.
Hope to see you there!
ps.dig the ring pop!
Am I alone here?
Thursday, April 3, 2008
From Margaret Cho's blog:
I had a new procedure called the "G-Shot," which is kind of like plastic surgery, kind of a body modification – but you don’t see it. It is on the inside. It isn’t something I would necessarily normally do, because I am very happy with my vagina the way it is. It is one of the finest in the world, and really needs little embellishment. It has served me well for many years and there are lots of miles left on it.
I got the G-shot as part of my new VH1 show, "The Cho Show," which I am filming right now and it is so fucking awesome you are going to just scream when you see it – I am so excited! Anyway, the G-Shot is an injection of collagen into your G-Spot that is supposed to enhance any kind of stimulation there. It is for women who have limited sensation in their vagina, which is me. My puss is more clitoral than vaginal. I am more into the outside than the inside. I am more about display than content. Whenever I go to a party, I tend to hang out on the steps rather than in the house and I never go into the backyard. And to keep the party analogy going, I don’t even have a G-Spot, per say, one place where the party is all centered, but there are lots of smaller events happening all over the area. Mine isn’t a G-Spot. More like a G-Block Party. My pussy is a lot like Coachella. There are a lot of bands hanging around waiting to play.
Excerpted from GQ Magazine:
"When Mr. Brown grew up, when he was a famous performer touring the world forty, fifty weeks a year, he fucked a lot of women. That is a deliberate term, fucked, because Mr. Brown was not a man who made love or even had sex. Mr. Brown fucked. “He did not know about the soft,” a longtime friend says. A lot of times, he’d let one of his cronies deal with the preliminaries, make small talk with a girl, get her a drink, keep her company. “She ready?” he’d ask. “I ain’t got no time now. Make sure she ready.” He’d hop on, roll off. Straight missionary, straight to the point. He never saw a reason for much else. “Why’s a white man eat a woman?” he once asked a white friend. “What’s he get outta that?” Hell, the man was in his sixties before he discovered doggy style on the Playboy Channel. He called up Roosevelt Johnson at three in the morning to tell him about it. “You sittin’ down, Mr. Johnson?” he asked, which is what he always said when he had an astonishing new fact to report. “Black man don’t know nothing. Black man don’t know a damned thing. A white man, he get up in his woman from behind.” Johnson pretended to be surprised by that. (“You had to go there with him,” he says, “because you didn’t know anything Mr. Brown didn’t know.”)
So how many women? How high can you count? Mr. Brown always kept a few girlfriends on the side, some for decades, and he always found a woman or two in whatever city he happened to be playing. “There’d be times, literally, when one would be coming in the front door while another one was going out the back,” says Buddy Dallas.
Naturally, some of them got pregnant.
In fact, even after age, diabetes, prostate cancer, and copious drug use had rendered him impotent, that didn’t stop him from digging into the dust and trying:
“Motherfucker was crazy,” says Gloria Daniel, a girlfriend he kept on the side for forty years. “It was the drugs.”
Mr. Brown smoked his drugs—PCP, until that got hard to find, then cocaine—mixed with tobacco from his Kools. “You sitting there rolling tobacco out of a cigarette—that’s a woman’s job—and you sitting there naked so he can look at you ’cause he getting ready to fuck you,” she says. “Yeah, right.” She rolls her eyes. The drugs, to say nothing of the diabetes and the prostate cancer, made him impotent. “He tried like hell, though,” she says. “He’d wear you out. That man died trying to come.”
One night in the summer of 2001, after he’d slathered her in Vaseline (“He liked you all greased up,” she says. “Like a porkchop”) and wore her out trying to come, he gave up and left the room, and Gloria dozed off. When she woke up, Mr. Brown was standing at the foot of the bed in a full-length mink coat over his bare chest, a black cowboy hat, and silk pajama pants with one leg tucked into a cowboy boot and the other hanging out. He had a shotgun over his shoulder and a white stripe of Noxzema under each eye. “I’m an Indian tonight, baby,” he announced. “C’mon, let’s let ’em have it.” Then he dumped a pickle jar of change on the floor, told her to get a machete, and went out to the garage. He took the Rolls, drove ten miles to Augusta, weaving all over the road, clipping mailboxes, smoking more dope, and screaming about being an Indian."
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
(Thanks to Brett Michaels for the style advice on this pic)
In 1999 having just come on the scene and straight onto MTV with the Slim Shady LP (triple platnium thank you very much) Eminem made a cameo appearance on a rap compliation called Soundbombing II put together by the Beat Junkies. It's a veritable who's who of rap with the likes of Q-tip, Mos Def and Common (when he was way less white than he is now). It's no suprise that Eminem bats first on this record with "Any Man." Raw, hilarous and chock full of one ridiculous head scratching line after the other his shit was unlike anything anyone on the scene was doing and it was long before he started rapping about his wife and daughter every two seconds.
What the fuck happened to him and how is it possible to sell that many records and dissappear?
“Cannonball” was a big crossover hit. Ever get sick of it?
No. That used to be a popular stance for indie-rockers to take. If somebody actually liked one of their songs, then they would hate the song. I was never like that.
Did the success of that song cause any jealousy among your indie-rock peers?
You know, [Pavement’s Stephen] Malkmus is being a bit of a bitch in interviews recently. One thing he said last summer referred to me as “trashy mouth.” And he just did this article in Spin where he alluded to me unpleasantly, saying [something like], “You know, I always thought that Pavement could have had one of those big hits in the early ’90s with ‘Cut Your Hair,’ but I guess people preferred ‘Cannonball.’ ”
Are you a fan of his music?
Yeah, I liked Pavement. But if he keeps fucking smacking his mouth off about me, I’m going to end up not being able to listen to any of their fucking records again. Anyway, I thought, God, man, “Cut Your Hair” isn’t as good of a song as “Cannonball,” so fuck you. How’s that? Your song was just a’ight, dawg.
According to Chicagoist, and Simo, the guy i knew as Wicker Park's dancing "Hot Pants Guy" died.
But then they noticed the photo above in the nytimes from an article this sunday ... maybe he's not? Check the comments here for more speculation and/or facts.
None of this makes him any less odd ...
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Jessica and the Lovebirds
The William Weinberg Funk Experiment
(Do yourself a favor - wait for the vocals. Wag is KILLING it).